Re: Re: Steve’s lesson one

Duncan Rawlinson

Wonderful shot. Very well done. This is exactly what this assignment called for. I think the most important thing to do for this assignment is to draw our attention to what is was that made the second picture more interesting. What made the beauty more interesting than the beast? We often just have a gut feeling but when we take shots like this it’s important that we deconstruct that “gut feel” into something more analytical. It’s not simply that if you move in closer, it will be more interesting. Macro photography can be just as dull as photography that looks at larger surroundings.

So what it is then? Well it’s never just one thing. In this particular case it’s mostly about the composition and less about the subject. When you look at war photojournalism and you see people gathered in unity, running in fear, looking at their child etc, these are often subject based photographs where composition may play a secondary importance. The decisive moment of a scream or the look of a father who jus lost his daughter is of main importance.

In the picture below however, we’re not dealing with human tragedy so we need to find other ways to make the photograph more interesting. To make this assignment even harder we’re using something that is otherwise “boring” and trying to make it look less boring. Making a plant leaf go from boring to interesting is much easier than making a toaster do the same thing!

My point is, that in all of these respects you’ve done a good job with what you had to work with (A toaster). Now we need to work backwards and see why it’s seemingly better. Then I think we need to think about how these concepts apply to other photographs we take.

For starters, you’ve removed distracting secondary elements. You’ve made a conscious decision to leave in or take out pieces from the first photograph. The chord for example, you decided was an unimportant part of the picture and you removed it. From this we can learn that what’s not in the picture is as important to what’s in the picture.

Secondly, you’ve organized two colors which help add a dramatic feel to the picture: Orange and blue. As you’ll learn in your color theory lesson, these two colors work very well side by side.

Lastly, your object is organized within the 4 walls of your photograph in such a way that make composition easy to look at and organized.

In the end, you’ve made this photograph much more interesting my simplifying, enhancing what was already there (through color) and knowing what to remove (uninteresting background colors, cords etc).

Great job on your first assignment!